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Leveraging Organizational Innovation for Strategic Reputation Management

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Writing conventions and communication genres are the stuff of corporate message creation. Yet their role in reputation management has been ignored. Using the communication and perception of ‘innovation’ to illustrate the importance of understanding genre theory in reputation management, this article proposes a process model of identity, image, and reputation that situates message design in the context of diffusion of innovations theory. To demonstrate the model's utility and apply genre principles, we analyze recent strategic communications from selected companies in the Reputation Institute's 2008 Global Pulse Project (five rated highly on innovation, compared with five companies ranked lower on overall reputation). Results suggest common themes, stylistic choices, and discourse patterns used to frame companies’ identities, produce favorable stakeholder images, and build an ‘innovative’ reputation.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School of Communication, Illinois State University, Normal, IL, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2009


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